December 9, 2020
At Governor Holcomb’s press conference yesterday, he announced that Hendricks County is now in the “red” category for COVID. While churches are exempt from his executive order, we have sought to follow his recommendations when possible. We know you are probably tired of COVID emails (and we are too!), but we did want to update you on our plans in light of Hendricks County moving into the red category.
Our worship service will continue meeting at 10:30 in person with the balcony open and live stream available on YouTube. We do ask that you wear a face covering or shield and maintain social distancing. Last week, as we saw COVID cases rising in our area and at Parkside, we decided to move Sunday School to only meet virtually. Since this has already been decided and communicated, we don’t see a need for additional changes. Our plan is to re-evaluate Sunday School once we get past the holidays. If you have not heard from your Sunday School teacher, please reach out to them for specific information on when your class is meeting and which online platform will be used.
2020 continues to surprise us, but please remember this: 2020 isn’t taking God by surprise. He’s still calling us to love Him with everything we have, be united in the gospel, make disciples, and take the gospel to our neighbors and the nations. There’s plenty of outside noise that can distract us – let’s focus our eyes on Jesus and His call on our lives. We trust you’ll meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2 or perhaps even memorize it as we seek to follow Jesus together.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Pastors Jared, Chris, Scott, Steve, Justin, and Eddie
November 13, 2020
Dear Parkside family,
As your pastors, know that we love you, are praying for you, and are here to serve you in any way we can. 2020 has been a trying year, to say the least. We are grateful for your endurance and the faith God has given you to keep striving to know Jesus and make Him known. We don’t know what 2021 or even the rest of 2020 will hold, but we must remain unified around the gospel; we must not allow Satan to divide us over lesser matters. We must, by God’s grace, stay vigilant on these matters.
On Wednesday November 11th, Governor Holcomb held a news conference regarding the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Our county, along with most in the State of Indiana, fall under “orange”, which means there are additional restrictions including limiting social gatherings to under 50 people. During the Q&A portion of the conference the governor made it clear that churches were exempt from this restriction but reiterated the need to take precautions and protect the vulnerable. If Hendricks County moves to “red” we will be implementing stricter guidelines as well.
Since this summer we have striven to not only honor our governor (1 Peter 3:17, Romans 13:1-7), but also look out for the vulnerable (Hebrews 13:1, James 1:27, James 2:14-17) by encouraging face masks and social distancing during our worship gatherings. In recent months we removed the tape that was a way for us to help with social distancing. While we are not at this time returning to that method, we do want to encourage families to space themselves out in the auditorium. We also want to encourage you to keep wearing face masks whenever possible during our worship gatherings, as we strive to consider others more important than ourselves and be diligent in these matters (Philippians 2:1-11).
When we removed the tape, we also added about 50 seats around the perimeter of the auditorium to aid with distancing. Starting this Sunday, we will also expand our distancing opportunities by reopening the balcony as well as live streaming the service in the Ignite Room. Our desire is simply to remain united on knowing Jesus and making him known while not allowing these lesser matters to divide us.
Hopefully our study in the Gospel of Matthew has helped open our eyes to the way Jesus went out of His way to serve, love, and help the most vulnerable. Let’s do everything we can to look out for each other as well as for those who may be visiting with us to hear the gospel each Sunday morning. And please continue to pray for us as pastors as we seek the Lord’s guidance during these difficult days. Thank you.
The Pastors of Parkside: Jared Alsdorf, Chris Barksdale, Scott Bradley, Steve Busch, Justin Cook and Eddie Ferguson
July 29, 2020
We want to take a brief moment to address Governor Holcomb’s recent guideline for wearing a mask. The Governor issued an executive order that everyone in Indiana age 8 or older is required to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces. Children between 2 and 7 years old are recommended to wear masks, but are not required. We pastors love each of you and recognize that everyone has their own opinions about whether we should or shouldn’t wear masks. We also recognize there are various views about things surrounding COVID-19. Nevertheless, the leader who God has placed over us has set forth a new guideline to wear masks and we will follow God’s leader. Next Sunday, we ask that you come with a mask and wear it during your entire time here. Kids 7 and younger do not need to wear a mask and when kids 8 and older go out to the playground during kids church they do not need to wear a mask. We understand that sometimes you might forget, so we will have masks available if you forgot yours.
Now, we will not have people guarding the doors nor will we ask people to leave who are not wearing a mask. Still, we ask that each of you be obedient to Scripture. 1 Peter 2:13–14, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him." Furthermore, please do not use this as an excuse to not gather. We understand that there are legitimate reasons to not be here in the Sunday morning gathering, that is why we have the livestream and a physically-distant outdoor service. However, please do not use the inconvenience of a mask as an excuse to neglect the meeting together as a church family, but strive to follow Hebrews 10:24–25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.”
By the Grace of God,
Your Pastors: Jared, Chris, Scott, Steve, Justin, Eddie, and Josh
Here is a link to Governor Holcomb’s executive order.
July 30, 2020: **Clarification** We understand the executive order, and specifically Section 4, paragraph O, provided an exception for religious services. However, through the entire reopening there have been special guidelines for places of worship, but we have chosen to follow the guidelines for public gatherings in order to proceed with an abundance of caution. That is why we chose to follow the public gathering guideline and not exercise the religious service exemption in the executive order on face coverings.
July 1, 2020
Dear Parkside Family,
We first want to wish you all a Happy Fourth of July!! This is a weekend to thank God for the many blessings He has given us and to enjoy time with those closest to us. It is also the weekend that we find ourselves progressing to stage 4.5 in Governor Holcomb’s Back on Track plan. As we continue to open up, more and more of you will be coming back for the first time to our in-person services. As we move forward together, please note the following.
We hope to see you soon!
Jared Alsdorf, Chris Barksdale, Scott Bradley, Steve Busch, Justin Cook, Eddie Ferguson, and Josh Pyper
May 26, 2020
Dear Parkside Family,
It was wonderful to see many of you this weekend. Thank you for your patience as we navigate a new way of doing things. This past weekend we learned several things and have decided to adjust our plans for the next several weeks. We are going to have only one service at 10:30 AM, and there is no need to sign up. With one service, we are able to follow the Governor’s guidelines for churches and provide one opportunity for everyone to come together.
If you don’t feel comfortable coming, we understand, and an online video will still be available. For those watching the service online, we urge you to consider gathering with friends, family, and neighbors in your home. In fact, Pastor Jared and Pastor Scott both hosted several families in their homes this past Sunday and found it to be a great opportunity to worship and fellowship together. Please consider doing something similar in your own home or another.
For our in-person service, we are going to keep the same guidelines as before:
We anticipate following this plan for the next several weeks. We hope to re-open children’s ministry as soon as possible, but are still working through the details of Governor Holcomb’s recommendations in this regard. Please be in prayer as we seek God’s leading to keep our church family safe, but to gather together for His honor and glory.
May 9, 2020
Dear Parkside family,
Thank you for continuing to trust Jesus and strive hard after Him. We know it has been unprecedented times and we have been praying for you. We also know it has been hard on many of you to be sheltered in place and to fight to trust God while combating the fear that goes along with these times. We are encouraged by your endurance and perseverance through all of this. We have had many of you ask about when we might return to in-person services at the church facility. This letter is designed to help give you the latest information on how we will proceed as a gathered church family for the summer.
May 10th and May 17th: We will continue to offer our services on Sunday mornings at 10:30am on Facebook and YouTube. We will not be meeting in person at our church facility for these two Sundays. We know that Governor Holcomb has allowed churches to start meeting in some capacity, but we have decided as pastors that it is prudent and in the spirit of the Governor’s wishes that we maintain some distance during these two Sundays. In light of the social gathering guidelines being 25 people we want to encourage you to invite fellow members, family, neighbors and coworkers over to watch and participate in the worship gatherings for these Sundays. Also our Sunday School Zoom meetings will continue during this time.
May 24th to June 28th: While we will continue to offer our services on Sunday mornings at 10:30am on Facebook and YouTube, we will also be offering three in-person services at our church facility. For these Sundays we will meet at 10:30am and 12:30pm in our auditorium on the bottom floor. Our services will be around one hour each. Also, we will do signups each week via the HUB and try to limit each service to around 100 people. If we maximize those time slots, we will look to have a 2:30pm service as well. Information on how to sign up will be in follow up communication in the next two weeks. Finally, our Sunday School Zoom meetings will continue during this time. Below is a list of precautions, in light of the Governor’s request, that we will be taking for our worship gatherings:
There will be no children’s ministry or nursery.
We are encouraging those who are in the category of the most vulnerable (those over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions) to participate online only.
Entrance and exit will only be through the glass doors in the back of the auditorium, which will be propped open.
Sanitizing stations will be available as you enter and exit.
Only the bathrooms next to the Bookstore will be available for use.
There will be no coffee, Bookstore, or communion taking place in these services though there will be offering boxes available in the back as you exit.
We are encouraging everyone to bring a facemask and to maintain six feet of separation. Isles will be marked for entry and exit and certain pews blocked off to keep distance. Families are allowed to sit together with everyone else maintaining six feet of separation.
Between each service we will be sanitizing all areas of use to prepare for the next services.
July 5th and Later: Governor Holcomb has suggested that July 5th may be the first Sunday we can return to all being together for one gathering. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary. We will also communicate with you as that time gets closer with any instructions for gathering. Thank you Parkside for your patience and flexibility. We are all facing many unknowns and having to adjust frequently. We look forward to seeing you in person soon and worshipping Jesus together.
The Pastors of Parkside: Jared Alsdorf, Chris Barksdale, Scott Bradley, Steve Busch, Justin Cook, Eddie Ferguson, and Josh Pyper
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
March 23. 2020
Dear Parkside Family,
In light of Governor Holcomb's Executive Stay at Home Order, our church offices will be closed for the next two weeks beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The offices will reopen Tuesday, April 7, 2020, unless this order is extended. If you have an urgent need, please call the church office at 317-852-3101, and your call will be forwarded to one of our staff members. Also, The Storehouse is now operating by appointment only. If you know of anyone who needs assistance, please direct them to Pastor Eddie. Our online communication plan will remain unchanged. This includes:
March 13, 2020
Dear Parkside Family,
As a family, we desire to show excellent care for one another and our community, so we have cancelled all Sunday activities for March 15 based on the recommendations from the State of Indiana. This includes Sunday School, morning worship, and all Sunday night activities (Bible Institute, The Vine, Ablaze and Ignite). Furthermore, we have postponed the Send Me Brazil trip to later in the year.
However, we will have an abbreviated worship service this Sunday live-streamed via Facebook. This will consist of songs, a pastoral prayer, and a devotional message. We will also send a guided time of prayer for you and your family to go through together to pray for our community and the world in light of the present circumstances.
While the State of Indiana and other government agencies are recommending against large gatherings, it is still appropriate to gather in small groups. As the service is live-streamed, encourage some friends to join you or invite neighbors. Look for opportunities to be on mission for Jesus Christ, and as we see opportunities in our community, we are ready to direct the resources of our church to serve. Please be aware of needs in our church family and check in on church family members who may be in a high risk group. It is in times of difficulty that the light and peace of Jesus shine bright and the love we have for one another is on display.
We have already seen God work in incredible ways, with Pastor Jared and his team being able to return quickly and safely from their work in Germany before the travel ban was implemented. The Send Me Brazil team will be able to reschedule their trip for the fall to still be able to work with the Wachters and Richners. God is on His throne, even when the world seems uncertain.
The pastors are closely monitoring all of the information and guidance from both the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and we will send out information about each week as it comes along. We know that there is a lot of stress and confusion surrounding the coronavirus, but we know that God is in control, even in situations like this one. We trust Him and look for opportunities to share the love of Jesus in these moments. We encourage our entire Parkside family to not be anti-social, but to look for ways to still Delight in the Gospel, Grow Through Relationships, Serve our Community, and be Sent into the World.
Jared, Chris, Scott, Steve, Justin, Eddie, and Josh.